Wood returning to Dodgers on 1-year deal

January 16th, 2020

LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers on Wednesday officially announced the reacquisition of free-agent left-hander Alex Wood, another bounce-back candidate for their starting rotation mix who missed most of the 2019 season for the Reds with a back injury. To make room for Wood, reliever Casey Sadler was designated for assignment.

Wood will receive a $4 million base salary with up to $6 million in incentives. He received $9.65 million last year.

Although confirmation came on Wednesday, Wood posted this Sunday on his Twitter account, when reports first surfaced: "We back @Dodgers #ComebackSZN."

Wood, who turned 29 on Sunday, was originally acquired by the Dodgers from Atlanta during the 2015 season. He had the best season of his career with Los Angeles in '17, going 16-3 with a 2.72 ERA and making his only All-Star appearance.

After the 2018 season, Wood was packaged with Yasiel Puig, Matt Kemp and Kyle Farmer in a salary swap with the Reds for Homer Bailey and prospects Josiah Gray and Jeter Downs. With the Reds last season, Wood went 1-3 with a 5.80 ERA in only seven starts. He made his first start on July 28 and his final start on Aug. 29, missing the other five months of the season with back issues.

With the Dodgers, Wood had a 3.46 ERA and 1.17 WHIP in 86 appearances (74 starts).

With Walker Buehler, Clayton Kershaw and Kenta Maeda as rotation locks, Wood is the latest option to replace Cy Young Award runner-up Hyun-Jin Ryu, who signed an $80 million free-agent contract with Toronto.

The Dodgers have prospects Dustin May and Tony Gonsolin in the conversation for rotation spots entering Spring Training, as well as starter candidate Ross Stripling, who was an All-Star as a starter in 2018 but was used primarily as a reliever in '19.

The Wood deal follows last week’s signing of right-handed pitcher Jimmy Nelson, who was non-tendered by Milwaukee after pitching only 10 games in 2019, his third season with either shoulder or elbow injuries.

Julio Urías also is a comeback candidate after being limited to 79 2/3 innings last year because of a suspension for domestic violence, which derailed the club’s plans to use him as a starter in the postseason.

Last month, the Dodgers were a $300 million under-bidder for marquee free-agent starting pitcher Gerrit Cole, who signed with the Yankees.

In a relatively quiet winter, the Dodgers also have signed reliever Blake Treinen, who had been non-tendered by the A’s.